Chronicles of MPT: Balestier Road

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Here’s a place DC and I are divided on. Obviously I like it enough to blog about it. This is a strange sort of bak chor mee/Teochew mee pok tar hybrid. It’s got all pork balls, minced pork and dried sole, plus there’s seaweed in the soup. But it also has prawns and beansprouts, so it’s a bit of a confused dish.

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Here’s why we’re divided: the pork balls are run of the mill and the soup is but a notch above the usual dishwater. The chilli sauce is decent but nothing memorable. What I really liked was that the meepok was very well done. It was done perfectly chewy, neither soggy nor underdone. Perfect. I also liked the mushroom and dried sole always hits the spot for me. Thumbs up in my book!

Noi’s Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle
Teck Seng Coffeeshop
588 Jalan Datoh off Balestier Road

Chronicles of MPT: The One Next to Mustafa’s

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DC, a man after my own stomach, had been looking up MPT places as he was concerned about the recent lack of Chronicles of MPT posts. He found this place at Verdun Road that supposedly used buah keluak as one of the magic ingredients in its chilli sauce. Of course we had to find the next opportunity to go!

The stall is nestled in a coffee shop just by Mustafa’s, that emporium of everything you need in this world (except MPT). We ordered a bowl each, DC being a purist for my blog’s sake ordered meepok, while I on advice from some reports went for the meekia.

Each bowl came with a generous topping of fish dumplings, pork mince, sliced pork, fishball and a piece of crisp dried sole. I liked the gluey fish dumplings and didn’t mind the fishball. DC didn’t like the fishball though, he felt that it tasted too mass-produced. He was also pretty unlucky because his pork was undercooked and noodles soggy. For the former, he simply pushed the offending pink pieces away, but for the latter he had no choice but to slurp up the  soft pap. Why? The chilli was heavenly. I think it’s by far the best MPT chilli I’ve had. It was smoky with deep earthy buah keluak flavour and had plenty of kick. Complemented by the crisp lard pieces and a splash of black vinegar, this combination is to die for. Do yourself a favour and order the meekia. Mine was perfect. The best in a long while.

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Ah Hor Teochew Kway Teow Mee
12 Verdun Road

Chronicles of MPT: 132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee

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My obsession with mee pok tah continues. I persuaded Eeyore to finally try the famous 132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee along East Coast Road (from $3). Not wanting to be left out, Shinta and KK came along too. It was 12 noon on a Sunday and the wait wasn’t very long, only about 10 minutes. I think the MPT craze comes and goes when the newspapers write about them.

Eeyore and I made the fatal mistake of asking for extra chilli. The chilli overwhelmed the noodles, making them far too one-dimensional. This style was the chilli sauce and lard only type, no vinegar or other condiments. I’d imagine (heaven forbid!) a touch of ketchup would have helped it along. The noodles weren’t anything special, even slightly on the soft side.

Ingredients-wise, we weren’t impressed by the fishballs (KK: too much flour, too soft) nor the prawns. The prawns tasted fine, but the tails broke off in the shell. That’s my pet peeve and shows that the prawns aren’t very fresh. A pity. Shinta liked it all a lot though. He had no quibbles with it and thought it was one of the best MPT of this style he’d had.

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What really worked for me was the soup. It’s fresh and full of flavour, very pleasing and soothing. Nice.

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I wasn’t expecting to get good teh bing (iced milky tea, $1) here but this place gave me a pleasant surprise. It was smooth and milky yet with great tea flavour.

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While waiting for their noodles, Shinta and KK ate three of these mackeral otah between them. It was pretty good with chunky fish and spicy, coconutty, smooth custard. Good stuff.

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132 Mee Poh Kueh Teow Mee
53 Upper East Coast Road (Opp the DBS and Shell station)

Chronicles of MPT: Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodles

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I’m the biggest fan of meepok tah, whether fishball or bak chor flavour. It’s my default if I can’t decide what to eat at the hawker centre.

Since Mum and I were in the area, we dropped by Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodles at Eunos to check out the hype. The smallest bowl of bak chor mee cost $4 and was slightly smaller than the typical $3.50 food court bak chor mee.

The sauce was good. I could tell that the mushrooms were stewed for ages to get out all that yummy mushroom flavour. The chilli was decent though I’d like it to be much hotter than this. Making this extra delicious were the tiny bits of fried lard that added crunch and sinfully good oily porkiness. If I’d never tried bak chor mee before, this would be pretty darn It. The missing ingredient was good ol’ black vinegar. A generous dash of that would take it straight to heaven.

Noodles-wise, it was only OK. While the noodles were the better thicker variety, they were too soft and needed either vinegar or a change to fresh blanching water. The beansprouts were a nice touch for adding crunch. I love beansprouts in my MPT. The fish dumpling was decent, though my mum got one with the filling missing!

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The soup was quite something. As the bowl was set down, I could already smell it! Check out how much stuff has been boiled in it in the picture below. It’s sweet with pork and soy beans, deeply savoury from the dried sole (that’s where the smell came from) and redolent of chinese herbs like wolfberry. I liked it but my mum found it too rich.

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Notwithstanding the tiny dried scallops sprinkled generously over the vegetables, we found the $4 dish overpriced. There were only about three heads of xiao bai cai on the plate, topped with two bland mushroom halves. The sauce was rich and full of seafood flavour and the dried scallops rather tasty. Still, I couldn’t help feeling cheated because all I really wanted was enough vegetable to balance out my meal.

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Verdict? While it certainly is better than the average bak chor mee, the difference in quality isn’t that great. Go there only if you’re in the area.

Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodles
316 Changi Road
Tel: 6345 7561